FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The fall archery hunting season for deer and wild turkey, which opens Monday, will last longer in Fairfield County and along the shoreline in an effort to lower the deer population in those areas, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said.
Statewide starting Monday, bowhunters can hunt for deer and turkeys on designated state lands and on private land where they have written permission of the landowner, according to a statement from DEEP. And for the first time, hunters will be allowed to use crossbows.
“The outlook for the 2013 hunting season is very good,” said Michael Gregonis, a deer/turkey program biologist for the DEEP Wildlife Division. “Although there are good deer hunting opportunities throughout most of Connecticut, the southwest corner of the state and many of the shoreline towns provide the best opportunities, especially for bowhunters.
"Many landowners use the archery deer hunting season as a safe and effective method of reducing deer populations, especially in the more developed areas of the state where firearms hunting may not be feasible.”
In Fairfield County and along the shoreline, archery hunters can hunt until Jan. 31. In the rest of the state, the season ends Dec. 31.
Recently passed regulations allow crossbows during Connecticut's archery hunting seasons. Crossbow hunters are required to have an archery permit, which is available only to those who have completed a Bowhunter Education course.
When hunters harvest a deer or turkey, they are required to fill out a Harvest Tag, sign it and keep the Harvest Tag with the animal until it is processed for consumption. Copies of Harvest Tags and instructions for their use are on Page 25 of the 2013 Connecticut Hunting and Trapping Guide, as well as on the DEEP website.
Hunters are required to report their deer and turkey kills within 24 hours either on the DEEP website or by calling 1-877-337-4868.
Bowhunters must wear 400 square inches of fluorescent orange while walking to and from their tree stands during the firearms deer hunting season, DEEP said. However, once in a tree stand, elevated at least 10 feet off the ground, bowhunters may remove the fluorescent orange clothing.
The fall 2013 acorn crop appears to be very limited and spotty. A poor acorn crop usually equates to higher hunter success rates because deer travel more among bedding and feeding sites.
All private land archery hunters are required to carry a DEEP consent form signed by the landowner and dated for the current season. Consent forms can be found in the Hunting Guide or online. Deer and turkey permits can be purchased online or at participating town halls, vendors and at some DEEP offices.
Hunters should consult the DEEP website for an up-to-date listing of new state lands open to archery hunting.